By Lucy Winberg
Some people are put off recruitment as a career because it’s often given a bad press. Sure, there are always some rotten apples in the barrel, but you don’t have to work for one of them. And when you work for the good ones it’s the most fantastic job that can change lives – both yours and your clients’.
Most recruiters, myself included, fall into recruitment by accident. My personal journey took many twists and turns through marketing and investor relations, temporary jobs and a stint travelling. Finally I found myself in an interview with a boutique property recruiter where I was offered the job on the spot.
Since then, I’ve never looked back. Having set up my own recruitment consultancy, I’m excited to be embarking on the next chapter of this wonderful career. I want to expand my team and inspire talented people, considering their next career move, to enter the world of recruitment.
What’s in it for you?
If you, like me, are competitive by nature, then this industry is a perfect match. Every day you’re in a head-to-head competition to attract top talent. But there’s far more to it than that. Take a look at the list below and you’ll soon see why dedicated recruiters love their job – and get so much out of it.
- You change people’s lives— other than getting married or buying a house, few things in life have a bigger impact on someone than landing a great job. Because of that, most recruiters find it easy to maintain a high level of excitement and commitment to excellence. Even though you can’t hire everyone, you can certainly help improve their chances by finding hidden skills, answering their questions, and giving them a better chance of being offered that perfect job next time.
- You can make a business great — research has shown that recruiting has more effect on revenue and profit than any other talent management function. New products will get to market faster and projects will be completed on time because you didn’t allow ineffective hiring to become a roadblock to business success.
- Clients and candidates will thank you — as you fill more jobs, the number of candidates and hiring managers that owe you a debt of gratitude will increase. As result, they’ll be willing to do you favours in return or gladly offer their assistance in giving quality referrals or recommendations.
- You can create your own recruitment programmes — heavy workloads and a tactical focus mean most recruiters don’t take time out to create new recruiting initiatives. As a result, if you can find the time to discover or design new recruiting, technology, or metric approaches, you may be given the opportunity to make them happen, even though you aren’t yet a senior person.
- It’s always exciting — you’ll soon realise that filling each job is a head-to-head competition, which can be incredibly energising. Every day you’re competing against other recruiters from the same sector and even counterpart recruiters who work directly for your clients. What’s more, discovering hidden talent is exhilarating, particularly when your client has a strict brief in the candidate-short market that we’re in.
- There’s a clear winner— unlike many fields, recruiting for a particular job has a clear beginning and end point. As a result, after a top candidate makes their choice there’s little ambiguity about who won the competition. And you won’t have to wait long to find out if it’s you, because in most cases you’ll know within 90 days.
- Meet exceptional people — recruiting introduces you to hundreds of outstanding and innovative people each month. In many cases, you get to know them in some depth because you have to fully understand their needs and be able to successfully present them to hiring managers.
- Everyone wants to be your friend— because most people look for new jobs several times during their lives they understand the value of knowing recruiters. As a result, many people you meet, both in your business and private life, will want to maintain a relationship with you in the hope that you may someday help them find a job.
- You’ll enjoy the variety — most recruiters handle a number of different job openings in contingent recruitment and retained search. That means you’ll face a variety of assignments and challenges as different jobs open up. This can be challenging but it also keeps the job interesting and continually changing.
- Freedom and control — because filling each vacancy has its own unique challenges, most recruiters have a great deal of control over what they do. You’ll have freedom over the “what and the when” of your daily work, as long as you produce results. In many cases, remote work and contract options are also available. Your degree of independence will increase as you prove yourself.
- Few entrance requirements— there are no strict degree or certification requirements to become a recruiter. People come from a variety of backgrounds because the focus is on their skills. If you have those skills, you’ll find it relatively easy to sell yourself in your resume and during your interviews with the recruiting manager.
- Good pay and job opportunities — the average pay for a mid-level recruiter in the real estate sector is around £70,000 per year. What’s more, recruiter positions are needed in all sectors of real estate such as valuations, agency, investment, landlord & tenant, and fund management. This gives you more variety when job searching and a more interesting role day-to-day. Because real estate is a high growth sector if you join a start-up your chances of climbing the career ladder quickly are better than if you joined more established but less dynamic recruitment consultancies.
- You’ll work with the best tools— if you work for a successful company, you will invariably have the latest tools to help you be a world-class recruiter (e.g. database, training facilities etc.) not to mention an expense account for drinks and lunches with top prospects. You’ll also have networking opportunities and conferences to attend which can be fun, sociable and provide opportunities to travel abroad.
- Responsibility comes quickly — even though recruiting is exciting, some find they people prefer the more predictable fields of HR, such as learning, development or compensation. As a result, recruiting has a high “pass-through rate”. If you stick with recruiting as a profession it often takes much less time to reach senior or management positions then in other areas of HR.
- As a recruiter it’s easier to find your next great job — your familiarity with the job search process means that, should you look for another job, it will be simpler. You’ll have a powerful CV, extensive contacts, and exceptional job search skills that should ensure your success. Those recruiting skills will also carry over if you later become a hiring manager or decide to move into other recruitment-related career paths further down the line, such as coaching or training.
What about the tough times?
While I’ve focused on the many reasons why recruitment is such an exciting and impactful job, there are obviously some drawbacks. The main one is that recruitment runs in spurts and you can have times when things go quiet and redundancies are possible. However, even during the tough periods, and amid worries about Brexit, the best recruiters still find innovative ways to do well. There are always new sectors to capitalise on when the economy weakens such as LPA Receivership and there are booming sectors such as PropTech or PRS. And of course redundancies can take place in any sector during those times meaning a greater candidate flow.
So what do you think? If I’ve whetted your appetite and you want to know more about a career in recruitment why not informally ask to meet up with recruiters through networking events or via LinkedIn? I am always delighted when people ask for my opinion about what it’s like to be a recruiter. There are many negative perceptions around and I can always put them right.
It only takes a meeting with a handful of top recruiters over coffee to realise that we are friendly, engaging, intelligent, and innovative. I absolutely love my job and the impact I’m able to have. I take great pride in my profession and if you become a recruiter, you will too.
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
– Marc Anthony
What about you? Do you love what you do? Or have you ever considered moving into a different field such as recruitment? We would love to hear your thoughts below.